Judge may visit site at centre of dispute between developer and widow

Oonagh Stokes seeking injunction to be granted restraining alleged trespass against developer Greg Kavanagh

The High Court judge has adjourned the case to Wednesday

A High Court judge has said he is prepared if necessary to visit the site of a dispute between a widow and developer Greg Kavanagh as part of a hearing into whether an injunction should be granted restraining alleged trespass on the woman’s property.

Oonagh Stokes is seeking the injunction as part of her proceedings against Mr Kavanagh and his company, Beakonford Ltd, which has been granted planning permission for 98 homes next to Mrs Stokes home, Inchanappa House in Ashford, Co Wicklow.

She has taken proceedings challenging An Bord Pleanála’s decision to grant permission for the development.

In separate proceedings in which she is also seeking an injunction against trespass, she claims her right of access to a mast and a water tank on land she owns adjacent to her home has been interfered with by Beakonford. It is claimed Mr Kavanagh has rented the land out to a tillage farmer until next year and that it has been ploughed up for sowing of oilseed rape.

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The mast is owned by Hibernian Cellular, a wholly owned subsidiary of a company of which Mrs Stokes is the majority shareholder.

Following legal submissions on Tuesday by Micheál D O’Connell SC, on behalf of Mrs Stokes and Hibernia, and Paul Fogarty BL, on behalf of Beakonford and Mr Kavanagh, Mr Justice Max Barrett said he was prepared to see the site at the invitation of both sides who suggested the court would benefit from such a visit.

This would be particularly so in relation to whether there was access to the mast site.

The court heard while it was the Stokes side’s view that access had effectively been blocked by the ploughing up of the field, the Kavanagh side argued there were at least three routes to the mast which could be used.

The defendants had provided a video in the last week showing this but the Stokes side said there was a “paucity of information” accompanying it and it should have been provided a month ago so they could respond to it.

However, at the end of submissions when the judge asked the parties what they would like to do in relation to a proposal to visit the site, Mr Fogarty suggested it may be possible to deal with it if the Stokes side took its own video in relation to access.

Mr O’Connell said it appeared to him from what Mr Fogarty was saying that a temporary solution to the access problem could be found which was what he was looking for until a more permanent solution was agreed. He proposed that the idea of the visit be shelved for the moment.

The judge said he would be happy to facilitate the parties whatever way they want. He adjourned the case to Wednesday.